Early in August I wrote a post announcing that I would try a little productivity experiment during that month. That is, I wanted to limit my Internet time to two hours per day. Once those two hours were consumed I would unplug my ethernet cable and work offline the rest of the day.
Well, the month is over and as promised I will share the results with you guys.
Did it work? Yes and no.
Yes it worked for the first two weeks. During that time I was still writing my ebook, so I could put all my offline hours into good use. Pretty much all the content on the ebook was coming from my head, so I just needed the word processor to get it going.
I also noticed that my online distractions were reduced to zero during those two weeks. I only had two hours of Internet per day, so when I plugged my cable I needed to make sure that all the vital tasks would get done. This included uploading posts that I had already written to the blogs, moderating comments, answering to emails and carrying out any required maintenance on my websites.
Usually the two hours were just enough to get it all done, so I would be left with no time to chat on IM, watch YouTube videos or browse around social bookmarking sites.
The problems started appearing on the third week, once I had finished writing my ebook. I still had a lot of content to create for my websites, but most of it required research, collecting links and the like, so it could hardly be produced offline.
So gradually I started spending more time plugged every day, and by the end of August I was already leaving my Internet connection on all day long.
I still think that unplugging can boost your productivity a lot, and I will probably do it again in the future, but you need to do it when you have a project at hand that can be completed offline (e.g., writing a book, coding a software or designing something).
The rest of times you pretty much need to have an Internet connection on. Online distractions can obviously be a problem, but the solution is probably called discipline.
Did any of you guys tried to unplug to increase your productivity? How did it work for you?